A: Why is your baby's face so dirty?

B: "He _______ (eat) chocolate."

I know the answer is present perfect continuous (has been eating), but what about present perfect (has eaten)? Can we use it in similar situations?

I'm interested in British English in particular.

  • I'd call it semantic, but it was not the fact that he has eaten chocolate (as in the fact that he has consumed chocolate), but that he was in the act of eating chocolate, and it is the act that generates the mess. – mstorkson Feb 14 '17 at 21:34
  • Please do not post questions a second time on the same site or on any other stackexchange site. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 14 '17 at 21:40

I'm American, so keep that in mind. You can certainly say "he has eaten chocolate," but it would sound a little stilted or formal to my ear. I'd probably say, "he was eating chocolate."

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